Oil Painting Classes Birmingham


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Introduction to Oil Painting Class Birmingham


I’ve so often heard art students say how much they’d like to try oils, but don’t really know where to start, or feel too intimidated to try them.

The Intro to Oil Painting Techniques course aims to gently introduce you to the materials used in oil painting and to show you how accessible and beautiful a medium it can be.
Once you try oils, you’ll never go back!

On the course itself I’ll get you familiar with using oil paints and mediums.

We’ll learn to prime your canvas for painting, how to do an underpainting in monochrome, and the technique of  ‘fat over lean’.
I’ll show you how to lay out an organised palette, work with limited colours, lay down a tonal ground, value studies, and of course the basics of colour mixing itself.

We’ll be setting up still life’s that are stimulating and contain drama. We’ll be looking at how to tackle a landscape, portraits, the benefits of studying a Master copy painting, and painting the figure using this most versatile of mediums.

The 11-week course costs £180, with a £20 off discount code for returning students.

Unfortunately, even though the course is online via Zoom, I still have a limited number of students for each semester, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment.

 Although the course is suitable for students who have never previously tried oil painting, some basic knowledge or experience of painting, in general, would be beneficial.

Oil Painting Course Day and time

Thursday evening 11 week course (18:30-21:00):

To see upcoming available dates please click below

The courses

The art courses start in three semesters across the year.

Winter Semester: January Start

Summer Semester: May Start

Autumn Semester: September Start

Tuesday evening Life Drawing (18:30-21:00)  (12 consecutive weeks)

Wednesday evening Drawing & Painting Techniques (18:30-20:30) (12 consecutive weeks)

Thursday evening Intro to Oil Painting (18:30-21:00) (11 consecutive weeks)

Saturday morning Drawing & Painting Techniques (10-12 pm) (12 consecutive weeks)

Saturday afternoon Drawing & Painting Techniques (1-3 pm) (12 consecutive weeks)


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Art Courses Birmingham Testimonials

Online Art Classes

This is the second time that I've done this course. It's been great to build upon lessons learnt and try many different new art techniques. Peter's encouragement and positive critique of work has helped me to take more risks and develop in skills that I didn't know that I had. The first course took place in person and although there are many advantages to face to face work I found the zoom course to be as productive and would not hesitate to complete another one of Peter's courses on zoom."


Drawing and Painting Classes

 "I have now completed three courses with Peter, Drawing and Painting twice and Life Drawing Classes. I can honestly say that learning to draw and paint has kept me going during the lockdown. It has ignited a passion for art in me that will travel with me through life. I will be signing up for new art classes in the new semester and look forward to developing my skills further with Peter's expert tuition. Peter's teaching style is encouraging and skilful. He has a beautiful way of enabling people to progress at their own speed whilst keeping the class lively and interesting. I have attended classes firstly in person and then via Zoom and have enjoyed both immensely. The format on Zoom is brilliant, I was sceptical about how much I would enjoy it, but have been completely converted. Thank you Peter!"

Dawn Norgrove

Oil Painting Classes

This course was a lifesaver for me and provided a wonderful opportunity to develop my oil painting skills. The expert instruction and demonstration delivered with such ease by Peter made the whole experience so enjoyable. Too much information I will need to enrol on a future course to process this one! Thank you Peter.

Mary Blackall

Art Techniques Course

I really enjoyed the recent 12-week art techniques course. We used Zoom, in view of the current coronavirus lockdown, and this worked very well. Peter is an excellent teacher and gave us plenty of individual tuition, adjusted for our various levels of experience. I hadn't ever done an art course, but I was very pleased with the range of techniques which I started using during the course. This has started me on a new hobby, and I am looking forward to taking another of Peter's courses.

Andrew Herborn

Art Classes

I did the Art Techniques class on Zoom. Peter is an excellent teacher, . We had immediate feedback as well as detailed feedback on completed pictures emailed after the lesson. I am relatively new to drawing and painting, and apart from learning a lot, had a lot fun as well. I enjoyed it so much ... I registered for Peter's ' Introduction to oil painting ' class starting in September also on Zoom.

Moira Herborn

Painting Classes

I wanted to draw and paint all my life, particularly as this was not part of school in India at the time! So I waited until I retired and joined Peter’s class. I have had the opportunity to try different mediums and techniques. I even dared to draw in a museum setting with Peter’s encouragement. I have enjoyed learning and continue to do so because the atmosphere in the class is very informal and relaxed. I never thought I would be able to draw and paint but with Peter’s help, I am thoroughly enjoying it. Peter is a passionate, interested teacher

Dr. Prema Iyengar

online art classes

Art is a challenge, a pleasure and a struggle. It is also rewarding and a creative escape so a wonderful antidote to stress. Since joining Peter’s ‘Painting for Pleasure’ group in 2015 I have experienced all of the above. But above all, my knowledge and skills in pursuit of progress have been nurtured, nudged, directed and guided by the most skilful approach and ‘light touch’ of Peters’ tutorledge. He invites you to join in his passion and delight of colour and ‘mark making’ whilst exploring art through the ages, both classical and contemporary styles, but above all through the sheer pleasure of ‘having a go’! The atmosphere Peter creates is supportive and inclusive of all abilities. He knows how-to guide, lead, and deliver what can be a challenging subject and is able to do this with skill, humour, experience and passion. All the ingredients, in my opinion, of a much-valued teacher


one to one art tuition

I initially contacted Peter to have one to one painting lessons which were absolutely great and I learnt so much. He then told me about the Saturday painting classes he runs in St Paul’s Church and I just had to check it out! From my first visit till today I am so amazed by the space in which we get to paint. The church itself is such an inspiration. Peter allows us through his own demos and guidance to try out new styles of paintings. Each week is a different style and I look forward to having a go (not always feeling confident to start but as there are other painters in the same position we all have a good time trying it out!) There are weeks when I just want to do my own painting and Peter has given me tips on how to do that. So the classes are what you make them too! I absolutely love my Saturday painting class and highly recommended it to anyone wanting to paint, whether it be for the first time or someone who feels like they don’t have the time or space at home. It’s given me back my love of painting. I’ve now got the time and space to do it and have met some great people to paint with. Thanks Peter!


painting classes for beginners

Peter’s classes are perfect for the novice. Everything is provided. You are only asked to bring a rag to wipe your brushes or take excess paint off the canvas. He takes the time to explain the materials and how to get the best out of them, setting tasks that help you explore and get used to oil paints and how they work. In the first few weeks, he also teaches how to stretch canvases and mix colours. Everyone is allowed to work at their own pace and he encourages each person with advice and guidance to help them achieve the best results and gain in confidence. I would highly recommend his classes.


Oil Painting Courses

Peter is an inspiration and has a wealth of knowledge on skills and techniques gained through his ongoing work as a professional practising artist. I now totally embrace oils as my weapon of choice – what a fantastic medium! All this is down to, firstly Peters recommendation I should try oils and then his enthusiasm and guidance. Id recommend his classes unreservedly!”


art lessons

I have been doing art lessons with Peter for over one year. Learning with him is quite fun but effective at the same time. Although he plans the topic for each lesson, he is quite flexible and allows people to go at their own pace. He is also happy for students to develop their own work during lessons if they prefer to while helping them with comments alongside. He always looks at the work I do outside of the lessons when I email them and gives his views and suggestions on how to improve them. Thanks very much appreciated.


 Oil Painting Frequently Asked Questions

Oil painting is seemingly feared by some artists and seen as a kind of alchemical approach to painting, where only the true sage-like artists have access to it. This is false. Let’s look at it in a bit more detail and answer some common questions…

Why use oil paint?– The main difference between oil and other painting mediums is the drying time. Oil dries slowly, giving the artist plenty of time to mix colours. More time equals more control over your mixes. Oil is naturally glossy, so colours are more vibrant and vivid, even when dry. Whereas watercolour and acrylic look duller when dry.

Is oil painting complicated?– No. It’s the most forgiving paint medium of all, as you have lots of time to make corrections. I think one of the reasons that people have come to think of oil as complex comes from a time when the materials and mediums were scarcer.

Once upon a time artists had to source their own raw materials, go through the laborious process of grinding them down and turning this into a paste that would be used as paint.

Also, it’s not a water-based medium, so some people immediately shy away from it. The difference with oil is you substitute water for an oil medium, which changes the consistency of the oil and makes it more fluid. Oil painting is not more complex than other painting techniques, it’s just that the possibilities of the medium are vast.

Is oil paint toxic?– In some regards it can be considered unsafe if you’re not using any common sense. Oil paint consists of oil and pigment combined. As long as it’s not swallowed, it is safe.

Again, the reputation for its toxicity comes predominantly from a time when some of the components of oil paint included lead, mercury, and sulphur! Safety issues stem mainly from the solvents used. However, the worst offender, turpentine, is a material I never use.

Instead, I use a thinner called Zest-It, which is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and smells of citrus fruit. It is a great alternative to ‘turps’, and is used to thin paint, and to clean brushes at the end of a session.

What materials do I need?– As the oil course is currently online for the foreseeable future, I now send out a recommended materials list to every student, with a 10% discount code from Cass Art. I know how confusing the choice and range of materials for oil can be, so I’ve simplified it down to a concise list.  I think an old rag to clean/wipe your brushes whilst painting is also worth having nearby. This is more of a practical issue than an absolute necessity. When you’re in the midst of a painting, it is beneficial to have a rag at hand to wipe off any excess paint. Otherwise you have to find tissue or kitchen towel which takes you out of the flow of painting and becomes too much of a distraction. For more info on the oil materials please contact me via email.